It might be miserable outside, but those who can pick and choose days to get out onto the saltwater will find the chinook fishing to their liking.
Three derbies were held this past weekend, and here is a quick rundown along with a report that follows:
The Bayside Marine Fishing Derby was held last weekend in Everett, and 197 anglers weighed-in 62 fish totaling 434 pounds for an average weight of 7.5 pounds. Results: 1, Rich Lopez, 15.3 pounds; 2, Darren Paul, 11.14; 3, Jim Collins, 11.01.
Under stormy conditions, 57 anglers on Nov. 7 weighed-in nine blackmouth at the Jacobsen’s Marine Grady-White Owner’s Tournament. Results: 1, Don White of Hansville, 8 pound-12 ounces, caught in Skunk Bay trolling with a Silver Horde White Lightning Sonic Edge plug; 2, Doug Haldeman of Edmonds, 8-9; 3, John Laws of Edmonds, 8-3.
The toughest place to catch a fish has been Elliott Bay where folks in the Tengu Blackmouth Derby last Sunday drew a big zero of fish for 33 anglers, although lots of small fish were released.
But, anyone who knows the history of salmon fishing in the bay during the late fall and winter should realize that it is what it is, which often translates into lousy fishing coupled with harsh weather.
The derby is every Sunday through Dec. 27 at Seacrest Boathouse. Details: 206-324-7600.
The word on the water is that hatchery chinook fishing is still picking up steam, and even yesterday some folks managed to get out on Possession Bar.
“It is still good on Possession Bar, and it is tough fishing due to the winds, but when you can get out, there are a lot of fish to catch,” said Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Everett. “Most are legal-size [22 inches or longer] up to 10 pounds, and we ended up with limits for three of us in 2 1/2 hours of fishing [Wednesday, Nov. 11] and lost two fish.”
“We are off to a very good start for the blackmouth season,” Krein said. “The Bayside Derby was very good despite the bad weather, and they did extremely well. Consider the fact that last year it was flat calm on both days and they had 225 anglers with only 40 fish checked in.”
Krein said folks who went beyond the bar also did quite well at places like Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend, and the shoreline between Kingston and Point No Point did produce fish, but nothing like the bar has been.
How about those highliners Pete Sergeef and Toby Black on the state Fish and Wildlife test fishing boat who have been scoring big time either off Possession Bar and in front of the Edmonds Marina.
“We’ve only gone as far as in front of Edmonds this week, and we’ve gotten a few fish,” Sergeef said.
Sergeef says a few fish, but actually they’ve been out twice this week and scored 10 legal-size chinook. To top it off last week for four days of fishing at mainly Possession Bar they ended up with 32 legal-size chinook up to 11 pounds, and only five of them were wild unmarked fish.
“It was just rocking,” Sergeef said. “We have tons of baitfish on the bar.”
The duo was mainly trolling with downriggers using a Brad’s Lure, which is shaped like a cut plug herring, and they were also using a white glo hootchie with a green flasher or a pearl white plug.
The eastern shoreline of Whidbey Island was also fairly good from Langley north to Baby Island area, and some fish were caught off north side of Hat Island.
Further south it was also fair off Jefferson Head, Southworth, and Allen Bank off Blake Island. At Point Defiance Park in Tacoma turnout has been light but an 18 pounder was caught this past week.